EU Accession Countries (Hansard, 2 March 2004)
HC Deb 02 March 2004 vol 418 cc898-9W
Glenda Jackson

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when the children of citizens of EU accession countries working in the United Kingdom will(a) be permitted to attend without charge state (i) schools, (ii) colleges and (iii) universities, (b) qualify for free school meals, (c) qualify for assistance with travel costs to and from school and (d) qualify for assistance in providing school uniforms. [156978]

Mr. Stephen Twigg

Children of citizens of EU accession countries working in the UK will have access to schools when their parents enter the UK.

Generally, students from the accession countries in colleges and universities will be entitled to receive education at the home student fee rate from the beginning of the 2004/05 academic year, in the same way as current EU students. Young people aged 16–19 in further education with home fee status are exempt from tuition fees.

Registered pupils in schools maintained by a local education authority, whose parents are in receipt of the following support payments, are entitled to receive free school meals: Income Support (IS); Income Based Job Seekers Allowance (IBJSA); support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999; Child Tax Credit provided they do not receive Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by The Inland Revenue) which does not exceed £13.230.

Children who receive IS or IBJSA in their own right are also eligible to receive free school meals.

(c) Free transport is always necessary for a pupil of compulsory school age (5–16) who attends the nearest suitable school if it is beyond statutory walking distance. These are two miles for pupils aged up to eight and three miles for those aged eight and over. This is measured by the shortest route along which a child, accompanied as necessary, may walk with reasonable safety.

(d)The payment of grants for uniform or clothing is at the discretion of each local education authority, and they determine the eligibility criteria and the amount of any such support.